Alan Foster

Why Blue?

My initial introduction to the delights or otherwise of football was through my father and uncle; we made regular trips to Haig Avenue to watch my home town team Southport play. In the mid-sixties my uncle moved with his work to Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester; little did I know this was to be the start of my passion for City. We used to visit my uncle once every month or so and during one visit it was decided that we take in a game of football, Manchester style. It was the Blues who were at home that day, otherwise I could well have ended up a Rag supporter. The Rags were enjoying one of their lucky streaks; meanwhile, City languished in the Second Division but undeterred by this we set off for my first visit to Maine Road. Even though City were dragging supporters in off the streets at the time, the crowd and the size of the stadium completely overwhelmed me. Maine Road for a reserve game could generate the same atmosphere as Southport. I cannot remember the opposition or the score but the day was to have a permanent effect on me. My father and uncle are obviously better at picking outsiders than me because as you know the impending arrival of Mercer and Allison was about to transform the club.

Unfortunately I had to rely on my parents too infrequent visits to Manchester in order to support my new found love. I still saw more of Southport in the mid to late sixties but my visits to Maine Road had a special magic. At the time, support in Southport was spread across 4 or 5 teams namely, Southport, Liverpool, Everton, Preston and inevitably the Rags. Finding a fellow Blue was almost impossible. I cannot claim to have been in that Swindon crowd or at Newcastle for the Championship game but by 1968 I was making my own way to Manchester Victoria station to be collected by my uncle and then on to the Academy.

During the seventies, having started working, I was able to follow the Blues home and away. Watching the likes of Bell, Lee and Buzzer then Marsh and co. was worth any money. My first visit to Wembley for the Wolves game ended in disappointment but was soon followed by watching my all-time favourite Dennis Tueart scoring his overhead winner. It seems a long time ago; it was a long time ago!

Even though the trophies dried up after ’76 there was still an expectation about Maine Road. We were still capable of living with the best. Unfortunately Swales saw fit to bring Big Mal back and the rest is history. John Bond took us back to Wembley but this upturn was unfortunately shortlived. City have never really recovered from both managers’ spending. I now take my wife and two sons to Maine Road, taking up our seats in the Platt Lane? Umbro? J.B. Sports? Family Stand. I keep relating tales of past glories to my 11 and 13 year-olds but they ignore my unbelievable rantings. At least I have steered them away from the Rags or the Scouse teams their mates all seem to support. Hopefully the good times will return and the ‘lost’ generation of supporters will experience the buzz of a packed Maine Road and the team lifting trophies once more.

Forever Blue,

First printed in: MCIVTA Newsletter #122 on


Alan Foster